When one thinks of Finland, one doesn’t immediately think of movies. Quality cinema isn’t something the country is particular known for. However, last year, the country was responsible for playing host for a rather big budget film, in fact, the most expensive film to ever be produced in the country. That film is Big Game, an over the top, exhilarating thrill ride of a movie starring Samuel L. Jackson as the President of the United States who gets caught up in a ludicrous game of cat and mouse in the Finnish woods. It is a movie that sets out to do one thing: to entertain, and it does so in glorious fashion. It may not be an Academy Award contender but it is one hell of cinematic trip.
The plot of Big Game is one that seems to have been concocted by a filmmaker (or group of filmmakers) who don’t care about artistic integrity and just want to give the people what they want, explosions, gunfire, plane crashes and lots of silly action sequences. U.S. President William Allan Moore (Jackson) is on his way to a summit in Helsinki via Air Force One when the aircraft quickly gets fired upon by terrorists. Moore is ejected in an escape pod and lands in a remote forest in Finland. There, he crosses paths with Oskari (Onni Tommila), a 13-year-old native who is on a hunting mission to prove his worth as a man. Now, hunted by the terrorists, Oskari and Moore must work together to stay alive.
Big Game is a lot of big nonsense but that’s okay. This movie knows how ridiculous it is and so do the actors involved which is actually a pretty star-studded affair. Aside from Samuel L. Jackson, there’s Victor Garber who plays the Vice President, Felicity Huffman as a CIA director, Jim Broadbent plays a former CIA agent whose expertise are put to use in this situation as a consultant. In addition, Ted Levine plays a grumpy general and Ray Stevenson plays Moore’s trusted veteran Secret Service agent. All in all, I’m not exactly sure if this cast knew what they were signing up for or maybe they just wanted a quick paycheck and a movie that guaranteed lots of fun.
What makes Big Game a rather special film are two things: the insanely overdone action sequences and the endearing relationship between Moore and Oskari. These are two men both on a quest and each of their paths cross and they are forced to make the best out of it. They are both being hunted by a group of terrorist lunatics led by Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus), a man with no real objective other than he’s just plain crazy. Jackson is his usual offbeat self and has a few good lines and young Onni Tommila holds his own throughout the film. Together, these two gentlemen form an interesting bond and make for a rather effective duo. While it isn’t high art, Big Game is a nice action romp and a decent way to kill 90 minutes.
DVD Bonus Features
There are none.